Tuesday, October 28, 2014

October in Albuquerque ...

This is my 80th post and the 1 year anniversary of my blog! I didn't know then that I would make it a year. I had hoped to and I did. If you're with me for the first time, welcome! If you've been with me for a while, well, I sure do appreciate it. 

I have lots of pics to share today. Audrey Grace has been especially cute, letting me get a few snaps in here and there. Its fall in Albuquerque and that means all the cottonwoods are have changed to a nice golden yellow color. Its absolutely beautiful. I read a meme on Facebook last week that said something along the lines of.."I wouldn't want to live in a world where there weren't any Octobers." I feel the very same way. This is the time of year for football, sweatshirts, hot tea, movies and blankets, etc. We are about to roll right into the Holidays here which I am especially looking forward to this year since Dilshani's family will be joining us for everything. It will be family time and it will be awesome.

In my last post I talk a little bit about antidepressants and how they have saved me with regard to my depression and anxiety and life in general. When I moved here to Albuquerque in June of 2008, I had needles in my hands by July 2008. It wasn't long after that I realized that this was the other thing that was going to save me. I now had something creative to do with my creative mind. If you haven't read my very first post you can do so here. Its basically the story of how my life began with knitting those first few stitches. I started this blog initially because I was entering a contest. I had no idea where it would go from there. But, here I am still typing away. The trifecta of knitting, designing, and writing about all of it has done wonders for me. That people actually like to read it all makes me smile all the more. I really look forward to being able to share a bit of my world with you all. If you're wondering about that contest...yes, I did win. Wink wink. 

I am trying to get a head start on my Christmas knitting and should be done long before Christmas. But I'm also trying to finish 2 shawls that need their borders put on as well. If I can get those release by the end of the year I'll be really happy. If not, its a nice start to 2015. My gift to my family this year is a pair of fingerless mitts...my plain vanilla pattern (which also needs to still get written). So I have a lot of pairs to make. I have done three already. Here was the shipment of Malabrigo Worsted  from Jimmy Beans Wool...
 

Those blue ones in the pic? yeah...they're done. Three pairs down, four to go...

Before this arrived, I decided to get my hands on the MJ Yarns I picked up in Taos. I couldn't work on my other shawls and I know exactly what I want this Mice and Men colorway to be so I pulled it out and man...its lovely to work with. The corridale is nice on the hands and will the nylon it will be strong too. Man, it is soooo pretty worked up...


 Gorgeous stuff, huh?! I do love it. Some more gorgeous stuff is the Wolle's Color Changing Cotton that Dilshani picked up for us! She just passed mine on to me today and it is breathtaking...


Our friend Debbie got the same color as I did except for her is caked in the reverse from mine. Isn't it pretty! I am looking forward to possibly designing something for this. I am currently taking the online design course through Craftsy taught by Miriam Felton. I am such a fan of her work, she is amazing. I couldn't make Anne's design class (Anne Podlesak of Wooly Wonka Fiber) so she suggested taking Miriam's class online. So I am. Craftsy sent me an email a while ago offering me a free class....well, of course I signed right up for the one I already knew I wanted. I am looking forward to learning a lot from this class and applying what I learn to my own designing.

Last Thursday afternoon Mom and I took a little trip down to the Bosque to take some pics of the cottonwoods because they are so so pretty this time of year. I do miss the falls we had back in Ohio and all the different colors of what fall looks like there, but October is pretty sweet here too...


On Friday I got a chance to babysit my goddaughter for the very first time. I was enchanted. She is so positively adorable! She cried and fussed for a little bit but then we played. Then she fell asleep...


I sang to her quietly as she slept in my arms. I didn't want to put her down but eventually my arms gave way to the blanket on the floor. I gently laid her down and watch her. Just watched her. She is an angel. I cant wait for the time when I can watch her again!

Audrey Grace has been especially cute lately in letting me get pictures of her. Most of the time she knows I want to take her picture so she'll look away and mess my photo up. But lately, I don't know. Lately shes been enjoying the camera!


  Thanks for coming back again and again and reading about my knitting and designing and the stitches I drop through the loops of my life. Whatever your craft of choice may be, I hope it calms you and helps reassure you that we are all in this together. Until next time my friends...Knit On!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

This Ones For You ...

 
Today is my brothers birthday. Dennis Edward Smith would've been 45 today. A small milestone that we surely would've given him shit for, no doubt. He died when he was 29 years old in a car accident in Tucson Arizona. Many years have passed and I still remember it all like it was yesterday. Every little single, stinging detail of that day. The thing that stands out to me today was how I felt that morning when I was getting ready for work at 6am when I still didn't know. We had been together the night before at a BBQ celebrating that end of a fantastic semester that both he and I had at school. He left the BBQ around 7:30ish to go and pick up a couple friends and bring them back to the house. That was the last we saw of him. At 10:00pm I left to go home because I had to work in the morning. I woke up the next morning and while I was getting ready for work and blow drying my hair I remember thinking to myself..."if something happened to him, I'll be okay. It will be hard, but I'll be okay." About 15 minutes later my best friend knocked on my door to deliver the news. I forgot all about telling myself that I'd be okay. I wasn't okay. Nothing was okay. My world just shattered into a million different tiny pieces that would never be put back together again. The rest of that day and the days that followed were not unlike anyone else dealing with a tragic and sudden loss. For me, I couldn't pick myself up and move on. I didn't have friends around me that told me it was perfectly okay to grieve as long as I needed to. I had people around me that questioned why, 3 months out, I wasn't "over" it yet. I worked in a shitty industry and with a lot of shitty people. Not everyone was shitty but many of them were. I found that I couldn't produce at work, and I didn't care that I wasn't producing. I found that I just couldn't do a lot of things. About 6 months of this went on and I then asked for help. I was literally living under a black cloud, I knew it, moreover, I knew I didn't want to be there anymore. I just didn't know how to move on. I had no idea how to move on in a world without my brother Dennis. I went to my primary care physician and explained the issue, but she knew. I was prescribed my first antidepressant. It took a little trial and error with the meds until I finally got to the right one that began to work for me. And it did begin to work for me. That black cloud I was under was starting to lift a bit. I still missed my brother in an inexplicable way but I no longer felt like I was stuck. I felt like I could start dealing with my grief for the first time. Folks, medication saved me. And I have been medicated ever since then. I have gone through various medications to make sure I am on whats best for me. I have been an advocate for antidepressants for many years now. I know what they did for me and what they have done for countless others. Unfortunately, there is still a crappy social stigma that goes along with antidepressants and there shouldn't be. I wish more people would share their stories openly because you never know who you may influence and help. Perhaps that morning I found out about my brothers death...when I told myself I'd be okay...it was looking way beyond into the future. When I would be okay. I am still medicated and I still have bad moments of depression and anxiety, but I am being treated and am much better than where I was years ago. I am okay. Tonight Mom and I are going out to dinner to celebrate Dennis's birthday, as his life should be celebrated and recognized. Dad is still in Florida so he cannot join us. I would like to think that Dennis would be right along side of us with a glass of something....toasting his life with us!


I miss you terribly Dennis, that will never change. Days like today are a reminder of how much we love you and how much we miss you. As is every year, we'll have dessert with a candle in it just for you. This last picture is the last picture of you ever taken. You were on top of Sandia Mountain here in Albuquerque, the only visit you ever made here. It is a perfect recognition of who you were here....on top of the world!


Dennis Edward Smith
10-22-69  -  5-25-99

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Ties That Bind ...

There was a meme on Facebook last night that said "Blood makes you related, Loyalty makes you family." That couldn't be more true than with our family. This past weekend was wonderful and was a perfect living example of that meme. It was the kind of time where you sit back and take a mental snapshot of everyone laughing and enjoying themselves...together. 
Dilshani and her husband Dan and their four kids are all HUGE Seattle Seahawk fans. Believe me when I say, you've never met bigger fans than them. When our two families merged, they outfitted us all with Seattle Seahawks t-shirts so that we could root for them right along side with them. Our previous affiliation had been to the Denver Broncos as my ex-husband was the biggest Bronco fan out there. But as that time period has passed, we felt it was good to have a new team to root for. Plus, I absolutely love the Seahawks colors! Dan and Dilshani and the kids had never been huge on college football but we are changing that. As we adopted the Seahawks, they have adopted the Ohio State Buckeyes as their college team. We are in the process of outfitting everyone with Ohio State Buckeye shirts. This past Saturday they came over, along with Aunt Betty, to watch the Buckeyes take on Rutgers. It was awesome. Unfortunately the only person missing was my Dad. But really, we didnt feel all that bad for him since he was IN Columbus watching the game live. I almost hit the floor when Dan told me..."this is the first college game that I have watched intentionally." Gasp! We had chips and nachos, and veggies and dip and coney dogs at half time. We won 56-17. It was a blowout. Aside from the game, it was just awesome family time...

 




How blessed we are that we bumped into one another almost a year ago. You'd think that Dilshani and I have known each other forever when really its been just short of a year. The funny thing is...when I met Dilshani and we went and had coffee for the first time, I think we both knew immediately that we were both kindred spirits that had been looking for each other for a long time. There was never a point where I questioned whether this would be a good friendship to invest time in, I inherently already knew it was. I think it was the same way with her too. To see our families together now, its just awesome. Our families will be spending Thanksgiving and Christmas together too and I am SOOO excited and looking forward to that. 
Dilshani's hubby Dan is retired Air Force and Albuquerque, whether you knew it or not, is a military city. Kirtland AFB is here. Dan and Dilshani and the kids still go on base from time to time for different reasons. Well, Sunday they invited us to Brunch at the Officer's Club on base. I was charmed as I had never been on base before, let alone to the O Club. It was wonderful. Along with inviting us, they also invited their good friends John and Margie and their 3 girls. As soon as we sat at our table a waitress came to find out how many of us wanted champagne. The food was amazing. There was a band and a huge dance floor too. Dilshani made it known early on that she wanted to twirl on that dance floor with Dan and her second eldest son Kamal. She got what she wanted too. I took pictures with her camera which she brought with her knowing she was going to make sure to mark this moment with photos. She uploaded a few to Facebook so I don't think she'd mind if I put a few here...

John and Margie took the girls onto the dance floor as they wanted to dance. And man did they those little girls twirl! There are pics of that too but they haven't been shared yet so I cannot put them here. But let me tell you, there is nothing like seeing little girls dance with with their Daddy. It was precious! A good time was had by all....


We were lucky enough to be able to see Dan and Dilshani three days in a row! Monday is, as you may know from previous posts, Monday Night Stitch Group. Dilshani joined Monday Night a while ago and comes and often as she can. Last night was Sidney's annual Pumpkin Pancake Festival. Sidney makes these incredible pumpkin pancakes and serves them along with sausage links, and homemade apple sauce and sour cream for the pancakes if you wish. Its sort of like officially jumping into the fall season. It was wonderful. Lots of stories and laughter and more laughter. Sitting around their large kitchen table knitting, or stitching or beading, it was a fantastic evening! Dilshani announced to everyone, I already knew, that this semester she is carrying 15 credit hours in graduate school and as long as her reading assignments are done and some homework, she gets to come to Monday Night. Tuesday is really tentative for the same reason. Next semester she is carrying 9 credit hours and then she is done with her Masters Program! She will graduate and, as her school is out of Virginia (she takes her classes online) she will get robes and my father will hood her as among us he is the only other one with a Masters Degree. This will all happen in March. I cant wait for those pictures! At any rate, last night was so very cheerful and fun...


These next pics are a bit blurry. I was trying to get a pic of Dilshani and I put we kept getting photo bombed but either Dan or Gus...but I did finally get one!


Blood makes you related, but Loyalty makes you family. Absolutely. These are the ties that bind us all together. 

I finished the 'Grizzly' mitts!! I have posted a few pics on my Facebook page and the light never seemed good enough to really see the depth of color. I did finally get a picture of the second mitt in progress while driving with Mom. The sun was shining just right...


I did get two pairs of mitts out of the skein although I didn't think I would be able to finish the 4th mitt....


But I did win out in the end...


I am very pleased with them I need to finish writing up the pattern for the mitts too. Here in the next week or so I think I can do that.

I have 2 shawls that need their borders put on them and then they will be about ready for release. I am really excited about both of them. I am hoping I can have them out before the end of the year. And yet crazily, I find myself casting on this evening. Why, you might ask? Because I can and because I'm nuts. I know I wont be able to get much work into it until after the holidays and the release of these shawls but yet I really couldnt wait to get my hands on this new corridale sock yarn from MJ Yarns that I picked up from the Taos Wool Festival. I look forward to being able to tell you more about the yarn other than how pretty it is! Here are pics of the yarn...


I hope you are all having a wonderful time in your lives and are knitting or crocheting away. This is my favorite time of the year...fall. Things get a little greyer, a little colder, windier...a sign that winter is coming. Sweatshirt weather..its my favorite kind! Be kind to the people in your world and with those who cross your path. You never know what kind of day they may or may not be having. A smile can change everything! If you are with me for the first time, thanks for joining me! If you have been following me for some time now, thanks for sticking with me! Have a wonderful time doing what you're doing! Until next time....Knit On!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Random Friday ...

This is new for me... its the first post from my Samsung Galaxy 10.1 notebook. I didn't know how it would all work with the pictures and all but so far so good!

Just a few random things this Friday evening...
The yarn I brought home from Taos was calling to me before I even got it in my door. I knew  I wanted to work with all of it, the question was deciding which one would be first. Well, I went for the DK weight in 'Grizzly' from Berry Colorful Yarning so I could start some mitts. I couldn't wait to see it worked up...and man is it pretty! Well, I just had to switch back to my laptop to continue with this post because the notebook didn't want to upload any pictures. At all. Froze right up. Anyway, here's what the 'Grizzly' looked like all wound up in good light...


There is so much depth to it its wonderful. Just for kicks I wound up the Mice and Men too, I couldn't wait to see what that looked like...


I already know what I want to do with this one, I just need to finish a few things before I can start it. I'm half way through the pair of mitts I'm making with the 'Grizzly' and I LOVE them! I love the color. They'll go with all kinds of things...


These are just plain vanilla mitts. (I'm in the process of finishing the pattern for them. They'll be available in worsted and in DK weight). Forgive the lighting, I was excited to show you the yarn and how it worked up!

My friend Flo who I knit with on Tuesday nights just finished her Cornwall Coast. This was big news in our circle because she's been working on it a long time. This thing is huge...over 7 ft long and it took two full skeins of Brooks Farm Acero yarn. It is beautiful. I coaxed her into letting me have it for a week so I could photograph it on Lucy and share it with you. I love the color!


I thought she did a marvelous job on it. I sent pics to Sherry Brooks of Brooks Farm Yarn because I know yarn people love to see whats become of their yarn out in the world.

And in other news, Miss Audrey Grace has finally accepted Dilshani into the family...


Dilshani was laying on the couch Tuesday afternoon with her arm hanging off and Audrey came up and started bathing her hand. This is her way of telling us that we belong to her and it was the first time she had done this with Dilshani. She was so excited she yelled to me to take pictures of the moment!

That's all I really have on this Friday night. Hope you are tucked in cozy somewhere with your knitting and are enjoying whatever you are working on. This is definitely the time of year when you start the holiday knitting. I have already started on mine. Stay warm and until next time...Knit On!